15 Thoughtful Birthday Messages (2024)

Birthdays are an occasion to celebrate the life of someone you know and care about. Not everyone thinks birthdays are a big deal, but most don’t mind having the day acknowledged, and others love an enormous sentimental and celebratory message. A birthday can also be an opportunity to look back on the past year and look forward to what the next year may bring a friend or acquaintance.

But that doesn’t mean a birthday message has to be complex, long, or even serious in tone. (In fact, a short but heartfelt message can do the trick.) And the way the message is written should reflect the relationship.

Here, we round up birthday message examples you can use to strike the right tone—whether it’s on a birthday card, over email, or in a text message.

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15 birthday messages

Simple birthday messages

A simple message can focus on the happiness of the day and your appreciation that the recipient is in the world.

1 Happy birthday, [name]! I hope you have your cake and eat it too!

2 Hoping all your birthday wishes come true! Happy birthday, [name]!

3 You’re a star! Sending you all my love on your special day!

4 May this next trip around the sun be your best one yet!

These messages are generic, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t sincere. As with any message, the key is that it makes sense in the context of your relationship with the other person.

Milestone-birthday messages

When writing a milestone-birthday message, it may be a good idea to note how momentous this particular birthday is. For example, an 18th-birthday message may provide some words of wisdom as the recipient moves to adulthood, while a 60th-birthday message might focus on an impending retirement.

Here’s an example of a 21st-birthday message:

5Happy 21st birthday!

As a wise person once said, “We’re not here for a long time, so let’s make it a good time.” Never toast with an empty glass, always dance like no one’s watching, and be nice to your designated driver.

Stay safe and have fun,

[your name]

For a 50th-birthday message, you could write something like this:

6 Happy birthday, [name]!

Half a century on this planet is no small feat. You’ve built such a beautiful life, and I can’t wait to see what you do with the next 50!


Funny birthday messages

A humorous tone in a birthday message can be a great way to reflect a friendlier, lighter relationship. But keep in mind that not everyone has the same sense of humor, and directing that humor at the recipient in a harsher way (for example, joking about them being “old”) won’t work for everyone.

You can still keep things light by poking fun at yourself or humorous circ*mstances—just be sure to bring it back to the true purpose of a birthday message: celebrating the recipient.

Here are a couple of examples that strike this balance:

7 I came for the free cake. Hanging out with such an awesome person is just a bonus. Happy birthday!

8Happy birthday, [name]! I’d serenade you with a song, but I’m told birthdays are supposed to be enjoyable. Enjoy your special day!

Birthday messages to a friend

Birthdays are great reasons to celebrate friendships, and because friendships come in so many forms—such as with a coffee-run buddy or someone you consider family—birthday messages can run the gamut.

Here are a few examples of messages you might consider writing in a birthday card for a friend:

9 Happy birthday to my favorite person in the world! Coffee/drinks are on me!

10 I’m so proud of all you’ve accomplished this year. Thanks for being an inspiration and an amazing friend. Happy birthday to you!

11 Happy birthday, [name]!

Your thoughtfulness and kindness have taught me how to be a better friend. Thank you. May you do today all the things you love and none of the things you don’t! Happy birthday!

Note: If you weren’t able to send someone a birthday message on the day, it’s important to acknowledge that. A simple “happy belated birthday” should suffice, but if you’re more than a couple of days late, you may also want to add that you’re sorry you couldn’t celebrate on the day.

Birthday messages to a significant other

Typically, a birthday message to a significant other focuses more on romance or things you and your partner love and appreciate.

12 Happy birthday to the best partner ever! You make every day fun, interesting, and filled with love. Here’s to continuing the adventure!


[your name]

For a more serious approach, you could write this:

13 Happy birthday, [name]. I’m so grateful you’re in my life. I can’t wait for everything the next year will bring, beginning with celebrating your special day with you!

Love always,

[your name]

Quick tip: Ideally, you’d include more personalized information—such as specific qualities or actions that your significant other has or did—or play into an inside joke or mutual interest to make your message that much more special. So creating a list before you start writing the note is a good idea.

Birthday messages to a family member

When writing a birthday message to someone in your family, it’s still important to stick to the spirit of the relationship. That often means different things for different relationships and familial roles. For example, a message to a parent may take a more serious approach, while one to a sibling may be a little more playful.

14 Mom,

Where to start? You’ve always been there for me whenever I needed sound advice or enthusiastic encouragement. In every stage of my life, you’ve been a guide and a role model, and I look forward to spending more time together this year. Happy birthday!

15 Happy birthday, [sibling name]!

There’s no one I’d rather argue with about the most meaningless things, and I can’t imagine my life without you.

Hoping you have the best day <3

[your name]

Tips for a great birthday message

  • Be on time: Sending a message in time for that significant day shows you are paying attention and the relationship is important to you.
  • Be sincere: A heartfelt message that feels true and reflects your relationship can feel especially meaningful to the recipient.
  • Be generous: Birthdays are great opportunities to go big when expressing kindness and well wishes.
15 Thoughtful Birthday Messages (2024)


15 Thoughtful Birthday Messages? ›

“To the coolest 15-year-old on the planet—happy birthday! May your day be as awesome as you are, filled with fun, laughter, and all the things that make you smile. Here's to another year of growth and making unforgettable memories.”

What to write on a 15 year old birthday card? ›

  • “You already know so much about who you are at fifteen, and we're so happy you're sharing yourself with us. ...
  • “It's awesome to see you celebrate who you are, and I know the family and I are so pumped to be included. ...
  • “I feel so lucky to be in your life.
May 20, 2021

What do you say to someone on their 15th birthday? ›

“To the coolest 15-year-old on the planet—happy birthday! May your day be as awesome as you are, filled with fun, laughter, and all the things that make you smile. Here's to another year of growth and making unforgettable memories.”

What is a short but meaningful message for birthday? ›

Happy birthday to you. From good friends and true, from old friends and new, may good luck go with you and happiness too!” “A simple celebration, a gathering of friends; here wishing you great happiness and a joy that never ends.” “It's always a treat to wish happy birthday to someone so sweet.”

How do you write a heartfelt birthday card? ›

Short and Sweet Birthday Messages
  1. I hope your celebration gives you many happy memories!
  2. Enjoy your special day.
  3. Have the best birthday ever!
  4. Wherever the year ahead takes you, I hope it's happy.
  5. The day is all yours — have fun!
  6. Thinking of you on your birthday and wishing you everything happy.
Jul 25, 2023

How do you write a unique birthday message? ›

101 Unique Birthday Wishes for a Friend
  1. “Happy birthday to the one who always lifts my spirits. ...
  2. “Wishing you a day filled with love, cake, joy, and all the other wonderful things you deserve. ...
  3. “On your special day, I want to take a moment to let you know how much I cherish our friendship.
Feb 5, 2024

What is the Sweet 15 birthday? ›

Unlike the American “Sweet 16” celebration, Quinceaneras are celebrations for when a young woman turns 15 years old. Rooted in Latin culture, quince celebrations are still different depending on the location and era you might have lived in.

What is special about your 15th birthday? ›

15th Birthday

As a young woman, your child is officially transitioning into adulthood and becoming a young adult. Some families celebrate this milestone by throwing a lavish Quinceanera party to honor this important event in their child's life.

Is 15th birthday a milestone? ›

Milestone birthdays are what you make them. There's no right or wrong way to celebrate, and no celebration is too small. Milestone birthdays typically include when you turn 1, 15 or 16, 18, 21, 30, 40, 50, and so on.

How do you write a deep birthday message? ›

Make the perfect use of these messages:
  1. May this day be as sunny as your smile and as beautiful as you are. ...
  2. I hope your Birthday is as beautiful and full of love as you are. ...
  3. Cheers to your personal new year! ...
  4. You're one of a kind and deserve everything that this special day brings!

What is a short and sweet birthday quote? ›

Happy birthday to you. From good friends and true, from old friends and new, may good luck go with you and happiness too! Wishing you all the great things in life. I hope this day will bring you an extra share of all that makes you happiest.

What is a good sentence for a birthday card? ›

On your birthday, I celebrate you and the special place you have in my heart. Have a great day! Wishing you a blessed year and a wonderful day! Enjoy this special day in celebration of a most wonderful you!

What do you write on a 15 year old birthday cake? ›

Here are a few simple and meaningful messages you could write on a birthday cake:
  1. "Happy Birthday [Name]!"
  2. "Celebrating You!"
  3. "Another Year of Wonderful You!"
  4. "Cheers to Another Trip Around the Sun!"
  5. "Wishing You Joy and Cake!"
  6. "A Year Older, A Year Wiser!"
  7. "Here's to Making Memories!"
Feb 25, 2023

What do you write in a birthday card for a 15 year old grandson? ›

Heartfelt Happy Birthday to my Grandson

May this day bring you fun, adventure, and love. You always bring joy into our lives and we love you so much. Happy Birthday! Having you in our lives has been the greatest single happy surprise of our lives.

How do you write happy birthday in short words? ›

Other Ways To Say “Happy Birthday”
  1. Cheers to another year! I can't believe you're 20! ...
  2. Birthday blessings to you! ...
  3. Here's to celebrating you on this special day! ...
  4. Best wishes for your birthday! ...
  5. Another year wiser and greater! ...
  6. To your health and happiness! ...
  7. Joyful greetings on your birthday! ...
  8. To many more happy days ahead!


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